Music-history books and websites report that the Rolling Stones visited San Diego ten times to date, but tour posters and handbills have turned up that shed light on a little-known 11th concert a matinee on November 11, 1969. San Francisco music archive Wolfgang’s Vault has a Randy Tuten–designed, 14” X 22” Rolling Stones concert poster for November 10, 1969, at the San Diego International Sports Arena. The poster is amended at the bottom, “By Popular Demand, Second Show, 2:30 p.m., Tues., Nov. 11.” Indicating the rarity of these advertisements, an Oakland Coliseum poster for November 9 sells for $289; the San Diego edition, which uses the same image, will set you back $2115.
According to Sports Arena general manager Ernie Hahn, the arena doesn’t have records regarding the show, though he can confirm seeing the show on promoter Bill Graham’s database. While the November 10, 15-song set has been extensively bootlegged, nothing from a possible second show has surfaced.
The confusion likely stems from the fact that the Stones played at the coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona, on November 11, 1969. However, on this tour, they did play more than one show in several cities, and it’s only a one-hour-and-ten-minute flight from San Diego to Phoenix.
The dates of November 10 and 11 converged for the Stones and San Diego 36 years later. On November 11, 2005, the band made a tour stop at Petco Park. The previous day, Keith Richards and Toots Hibbert headed to Santee’s Strate Sound Studios to work with engineer Alan Sanderson.
“I was told not to let anybody know it was happening and not to mention it after it was done,” said Sanderson, who had worked with the Stones on their 1997 Bridges to Babylon album. “My contact in the organization looked me up, asking if I had any studio time. I didn’t, but quickly moved the existing client and started sweating bullets. It took two days to set up.
“We did one track with Toots — ‘Pressure Drop,’” I think that track is on every album of his, a different version each time,” Sanderson joked.
Sanderson continues his Stones-related work, reporting, “Last year I recorded and edited demos with Keith in New York, at his house, and in an old library in Massachusetts. And I recently completed archiving the recordings from the last three years of their live shows.”